Do Hot Wheels Need Batteries? (What Does?)

Hot Wheels are a popular model of toy cars with both children and hobbyists that collect them even well into adulthood. 

Before buying the toys, many people wonder if they will also need to buy batteries to go with them.

While most of the Hot Wheels cars themselves do not need batteries, some of the tracks that they run on do require batteries in order to accelerate the cars and keep them running around the track. There are some larger/more expensive Hot Wheels vehicles that require batteries but the small cars don’t. 

There are also some Hot Wheels that are designed to be pulled back and then released. Those of course don’t require any batteries to move them and the “engine” is powered by the pulling back motion. 

The type of acceleration of the Hot Wheels vehicle is the main factor in what type it is or if you will need batteries to run a specific Hot Wheels car or not.  

Hot Wheels Tracks that Need Batteries

Many of the newer Hot Wheels tracks need batteries as a power source. This is because rather than using gravity to propel the Hot Wheels down the track, they now use batteries to do so. 

This allows children to put a Hot Wheels car on the track, put it through the acceleration part of the track, and just watch it go! 

There are a huge variety of tracks that come in all shapes and sizes. Tracks most often come with one Hot Wheels car, and additional ones are sold separately.

The majority of Hot Wheels tracks will need three “D” batteries in order to run the acceleration portion to keep the Hot Wheels constantly moving around the track. 

Hot Wheels Sky Crash Tower Track Set

The Hot Wheels Sky Crash Tower track set is one of the newest, and tallest Hot Wheels tracks. It stands at almost three feet tall, has a tower for car storage, and the ability to fold up conveniently for storage as well. 

It has a motorized base that propels the cars up to the top of the tower where they then zip around the curves on the way down. Unless you stop them (or the batteries die) your Hot Wheels will keep moving on this track forever! 

Hot Wheels Mario Kart Circuit Track

The Mario Kart Circuit track is great for fans of the Mario Kart video games regardless of their age. It also comes with two Hot Wheels cars, one Mario car and one Yoshi car.

The track is a loop based off the Yoshi circuit from the Mario Kart games. It brings the games to life by recreating the race and stunts.

This set has boosters that require batteries as well to propel the cars perpetually around the track. 

Hot Wheels Track Builder Unlimited Ultra Boost Kit

This Track Builder kit is unique because it can be used on its own or in combination with another set to make an even bigger set. It’s made up of 13 track pieces, one Hot Wheels die-cast car, and an accelerator (that requires batteries). 

The set has multiple configurations, making it best for creative kids who get bored by following too many assembly instructions.

Hot Wheels ID Smart Track Starter Kit

The ID Smart Track is one of the newest track sets from Hot Wheels. The ID cars have an NFC chip that allows them to be synced with a mobile app. This tech merges the physical Hot Wheels set with a video game format online.

The ID cars and tracks are slightly more expensive than other tracks, which is expected when the technology is taken into account. 

Of course this set requires the use of batteries. 

Hot Wheels Monster Truck Scorpion Sting Raceway

The Monster Truck Scorpion kit is one of the most unique Hot Wheels tracks. It comes with a loop track, jumps, tricks, and a scorpion obstacle. It also has a bonus speed loop around the outside.

With multiple track options for racing of all difficulties, the Scorpion Sting Raceway is a very versatile track for all ages.

Hot Wheels Tracks that Do Not Need Batteries

While most Hot Wheels tracks these days require batteries to operate not all of them do. However, for those with the nostalgia for mechanical tracks over electrical/battery powered one, there are a few different options.

Gravity Powered Hot Wheels Tracks

Gravity powered tracks are the original Hot Wheels track.

They are the most basic form of track, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth buying and using for kids and hobbyists alike.

The tracks use gravity to accelerate the cars fast enough to make it through the whole course. As such, they have to start in a higher location than they finish. This can be inconvenient in some situations and locations, but most of the time it shouldn’t be an issue.

Gravity powered tracks are a little harder to find than their battery powered counterparts, but they can be found with a little bit of searching on second hand sites.

Slingshot Powered Hot Wheels Tracks

While they are newer than the gravity powered tracks, slingshot or mechanically powered tracks are typically older than the battery powered ones.

These tracks are often referred to as “kid-powered” because the acceleration comes from releasing a rubber band or pulling a lever which flings the car down the track.

It’s also normal for them to use some gravity acceleration as well. However, they don’t need nearly as much of a net elevation difference as the purely gravity powered tracks.

Mechanically powered tracks are also somewhat hard to find, but they can be bought from second hand stores, or thrift stores, if you’re lucky.

How to Use Hot Wheels Tracks

When you get a Hot Wheels track, the first step is to make sure that you have all of the pieces you’re supposed to have and that you’re familiar with them.

You’ll also need a screwdriver and your batteries (if needed for your track) to set up a battery-operated track.

Once you have all your supplies, it’s time to start building. You can either follow the instructions given to you with the kit (or downloaded online) or you can build your own structure instead. 

Building your own structure won’t work with all Hot Wheels sets, but it can be fun to combine sets to make a larger one or using extra pieces to make more obstacles for your cars.


Hot Wheels cars are a popular toy for kids, and they have a cult following of adult hobbyists and collectors as well. 

Although none of the smaller (normal sized) Hot Wheels are battery powered there are many larger ones that have been released recently that are. They are more expensive than the normal Hot Wheels of course but also allow more options to play with themZ 

The smaller Hot Wheels cars are designed to run on their own tracks which can be assembled according to instructions or combined to make your own unique structure. They can also be taken down and reassembled as many times as you want, inspiring lots of creativity for kids.

There are a few different types of tracks, some of which operate mechanically with a slingshot accelerator or using gravity, and some of which are electrically operated and need batteries to accelerate the car fast enough to make it down the entire track.

Not all Hot Wheels tracks need batteries, but in recent years, Hot Wheels and their parent company Mattel have moved away from the purely mechanical tracks.

So, while there are mechanical tracks available second hand or used, they are harder to find. The battery powered tracks are the most popular in retail stores across America.

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